Welcome to Earthkeepers

Truth is, the debate about global warming isn’t very interesting to us.  Either the earth we share as a common platform for our daily living is right on the edge of climate extinction, or the physical environment we live in is merely being taxed hard by pollution and consumption and carbon emissions. Either way the scientists and policy makers argue it, it seems to us that there is very little downside in behaving responsibly in an environmental sense.  As a for-profit business, switching from high-energy consumption light bulbs to low-energy light bulbs seems painfully obvious.  Let the elites argue–in the meanwhile, we changed our light bulbs.  Lower carbon emissions, lower energy costs.  Hmm.

Same simple logic when it comes to manufacturing our products; using recycled rubber from automobile tires to make soles for our boots appeals to common sense and consumers simultaneously.  Car tires make for landfill disasters; turning waste into resource appeals to the New England ethic in us.  We save money (seen the cost of petroleum-based ingredients recently?) and make durable, beautiful boots.  Hmm.

Listening to the “experts” on both sides of the debate invited us to imagine another kind of discourse–instead of a debate, imagine a community of Earthkeepers, normal citizens who want to preserve the physical beauty of our world, not by spiking trees or parading naked in Times Square, but simply by doing small, accessible, day-to-day acts of common sense and common goodness.  What if we could invite a community to share information and inspiration around the practical notion of preserving the environment?  Earthkeeping–not radical, not political, not competing theories–just a belief that nothing is more powerful than an engaged citizen.

Earthkeepers was borne out of some passionate product designers here who set out to build a beautiful boot, using recyclable and renewable materials and thoughtful choices in the manufacturing process.  Not a “green boot;” they set out to build a beautiful, useful, commercial product, thoughtfully and responsibly.  And as imperfect as the outcome was and is, the response we got from consumers around the world was very powerful.  People liked the product, and they told us they appreciated the environmentally-conscious intent behind it.  They challenged us to go further, and they had suggestions.

It is this engaged conversation with citizens that inspires us to imagine developing an Earthkeepers community.  Imagine a forum where citizens can share information and inspiration around “earthkeeping.”  Imagine a group of diverse people who share energy and interest in the notion of protecting our planet, in the ordinary course of living their daily lives.

So, here goes– Earthkeepers.  That you have come this far to visit is in itself encouraging.  Write a post–share your question, push your agenda, teach us about earthkeeping from your corner of this precious world.  Could be a very cool conversation, and more–could be a way to translate lots of passionate talk into practical action, to benefit the world we all share in common.

We’ll see.

Welcome to Earthkeepers.

Jeff Swartz,

President and CEO, Timberland

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